Archive for Sunday, June 26, 2005

Growth rewards

June 26, 2005


To the editor:

I read with interest Mr. Rosenbloom's column on growth (Journal-World, June 20). Yes, Lawrence certainly has grown, and I would suspect that there are many who have reaped rewards from that growth. The author lost me, however, when he jumped to the conclusion that owner-occupied homes are the biggest beneficiary of growth. The absolute linkage of property values to growth was completely unsubstantiated.

Yes, city services are growing quite fast, much faster than inflation. I would theorize that many of the growth areas in the city budget are not correlated with demands for service by the owners of single-family owner-occupied homes. I would further theorize that social services, city investments in guiding growth, water, police, fire and the like, which are services correlated with population not with where the population lives, are some of the more dynamic growth areas.

I can only hope that when the city invests in the planned study to sort out who should pay for growth that a more scientific and less arbitrary effort will be undertaken. I would certainly like to know who we think is the real beneficiary of growth, whatever we actually mean by that term. I know that my demands for services in my owner-occupied home have not grown at all.

George Lippencott,



Richard Heckler 12 years, 8 months ago

The more homes that are built creates a larger demand for muninicipal services of which there are many. Increased workload follows which then demands more staffing which then translates into more dollars and cents.

Light industrial and retail traditionally pay higher property taxes and charge taxes to consumers which then provides revenue for the city.

Traditionally residential has never paid for itself therefore the difference is made up by light industrial and retail. If residential grows faster than the other revenue generators we have a imbalance and a deficit so to speak. The deficit must be made up by residential because the other revenue generators did not grow at the same pace so we are all that is left. This is a rather simple explantion as to why our property taxes too often increase way beyond the rate of inflation which should be around 2%-3%.

Bruce Bertsch 12 years, 8 months ago

Your logic makes a rather large assumption, that taxes should somehow reflect the rate of inflation. Apparently you believe that municipal governments somehow exist in a vacuum and that expenses should somehow mirror inflation when your form of equilibrium exists. This is at best, wishful thinking.

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